The Trump Administration condemned a chemical weapons attack in Syria, accusing the government of strongman Bashar Assad of being behind the deadly attack that killed dozens — and blaming former President Barack Obama, too
A gas attack has reportedly taken place in Syria’s rebel-held Idlib, killing at least 58 people, with various media outlets reporting that a rocket has since hit a hospital treating the victims. The Syrian army has denied it was behind the attack.
The alleged attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun reportedly killed at least 58 people, including 11 children under the age of eight, according to medical workers and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, as cited by Reuters.
The head of Idlib's health authority, Mounzer Khalil, also said the attack killed more than 50 people and injured more than 300 others.
Videos posted online by activists claim to show the moment the bombs struck, with clouds of smoke rising into the air.
Locals said the alleged attack began in the early morning, when they heard planes in the sky followed by a series of loud explosions, after which people very quickly began to show symptoms, Al Jazeera reported.
Many of the victims were seen to be choking and fainting following the attack, and some had foam coming out of their mouths, according to medical sources who described the symptoms as related to a gas attack, as cited by media reports.
Pictures circulated by activists showed members of the volunteer White Helmets rescue group using hoses to wash down the injured, as well as two men with white foam around their mouths.
The pro-opposition Edlib Media Centre (EMC) also posted photos of people receiving treatment online, with some images showing what appeared to be the bodies of at least seven children in the back of a pick-up truck, France 24 reported.
Later a rocket slammed into a hospital treating the victims of the alleged gas attack, according to an AFP correspondent.
The Syrian National Coalition, an alliance of opposition groups, has accused President Bashar Assad's government of carrying out the gas attack and demanded a UN investigation.
The National Coalition demands the Security Council convene an emergency session...open an immediate investigation and take the necessary measures to ensure the officials, perpetrators and supporters are held accountable," the body said in a statement, as quoted by France 24.
The UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria said it is looking into the alleged gas attack, as well as the hospital attack, stressing that the use of chemical weapons and any deliberate targeting of medical facilities "would amount to war crimes and serious violations of human rights law."
"It is imperative for perpetrators of such attacks to be identified and held accountable," the commission said, as quoted by Reuters.
France has also called for an emergency UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting following the suspected attack, according to Reuters.
However, the UNSC will likely discuss the attack tomorrow, during a meeting which was previously scheduled, a correspondent for the Arabic-language Alhurra satellite television channel wrote on Twitter.